Most individuals like a pizza but then pizzas are very adaptable for all sorts of diets. Vegetarianism is no exception. In this piece I am going to show you how to create a vegetarian pizza from scratch and the pizza I have chosen is a rather curious one.
Americans may not instantly recognize it as a pizza although there are other, especially German, examples of something similar to this Moroccan pizza from Marrakesh.
Marrakesh Pizza (Khboz Bishemar)
1 packet of dry active bread yeast 1/4 cup lukewarm water
FILLING ======================== 1/4 lb vegetable suet - (approx 1 cup tightly packed) 3 tbls parsley, chopped 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped 1/4 tsp cumin, heaped, ground 1 red chile pepper, dried 1 tsp paprika, heaped tsp
DOUGH ========================== 2 cups strong, unbleached flour 1 tsp salt
GARNISH ======================== 4 tsp sweet butter, margarine (melted) or oil
Sprinkle the yeast over 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Stir to dissolve then leave to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until the yeast has been activated and doubled in volume.
Meanwhile, create the filling. Chop or grind the suet; pound the parsley, onion and spices in a mortar or chop finely to a paste. Mix with the suet and set aside.
Blend the flour with the salt and make a well in the center. Pour in the bubbling yeast and sufficient lukewarm water to form a ball of dough. (Add more water if the dough appears to be hard to mould). Knead well until smooth and elastic or for around 20 minutes. Split the ball of dough into 4 equal parts.
Lightly flour a board. Begin patting the first ball of dough down to a disc shape, stretching and flattening it to create a rectangle approximately 8 x 14 inches. Spread one-quarter of the filling in the center. Fold the right and then the left side of the dough on to the filling.
Press down on this 'package' and start flattening and stretching it (with the filling inside) until it is the same size (8 x 14 inches) as previously. Repeat the folding, this time right side into the center and left side under. Repeat with the other 3 balls of dough. Set aside, covered, in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Heat a griddle. Prick the 'packages' with a fork six or seven times on both sides. Put on the griddle - they will start to fry in the fat released from their fillings. Fry the 'packages' 10 minutes on each side, until crisp. Dot each pizza with a teaspoonful of sweetened melted butter or oil before serving.
You can eat these Moroccan pizzas from Marrakesh with anything, but there is already a fat content, so it would be better to have them with a salad or even fruit. To complement this dish, drink what the Moroccans would drink - mint tea. Moroccans drink pints of sweet mint tea every day brewed from mint that simply appears to grow wild everywhere.
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